The FishbowlDC Interview With Washington Examiner’s Devilish Julie Mason


Say hello to Julie Mason. She is the White House correspondent for the Washington Examiner. She joined the Examiner in October, 2008 after 20 years at the Houston Chronicle, where she covered local and state government, national politics and the White House. She is an at-large board member of the White House Correspondents Association. Julie is not a devil-worshipper, she just loves that hoodie.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Prosecco – geysers of it.

How often do you Google yourself? I save myself the trouble with a standard narcissist Google alert – someone recently blogged that I need to shut up, which I am definitely working on.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Michael Kinsley.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I have said horrible things to editors, and my ears still burn with their caustic retorts. Can we leave it there? My current editor is genius. Hi, Chris!

Do you have a favorite word? Lately it’s karma. You know who you are.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Is Palin a bestselling author? I dined with the FLOTUS at the WHCA dinner – so I guess Palin’s up. I hear she doesn’t dine out much with reporters, though.

When did you last cry and why? Someone recently paid me a really lovely, heartfelt compliment – and I burst into tears.

What word do you routinely misspell? I used to always misspell “occasion” until, in one of these earlier Fishbowl interviews, Amy Argetsinger from the Washington Post noted that there is “no ass in occasion,” which certainly has not been my experience. I still have to look up al qaeda, every time.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Standard Blackberry – what I really want is “Don’t Believe the Hype.”

What swear word do you use most often? Motherf***er

What word or phrase do you overuse? Ha! See above.

What TV show do you have to watch? Stanley Cup finals

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? Online

Who do you prefer for daytime talk, Dr. Phil, Oprah, Tyra or the women of The View? We don’t get a lot of daytime talk in the White House basement – we’re strictly cable news. I am a fan of Ed Henry’s “segment.”

Pick one: Leno, Letterman or Conan? Conan – home state advantage, and ginger. Dig it.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? After seeing those modeling shots of him carrying a woman around on the beach, I have to go with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). He clearly has island-living skills.

Who has been your mentor? Carl P. Leubsdorf was my first-ever boss at the Dallas Morning News. He never talked to me like I was an idiot, although I very demonstrably was, and he made covering politics seem fun.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career?“Suck it up, princess,” by the city editor who hired me at the Houston Chronicle. He said if I couldn’t handle the sexism, vulgarity and general backwardness of local Texas politics, then I couldn’t cover politics. He was so right, and I eventually came to regard it all as charming.

Read more Devil Girl after the jump…Hurry up, her most embarrassing moment is in there and it’s worth the read.

Julie Mason with NPR’s Don Gonyea at the WHCA dinner.

What and where was your first job in journalism? I was a clerk in the Washington bureau of the Dallas Morning News – total gofer, massive exploitation. It was really fun, though and I learned a lot.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? So many! Getting laughed at during a televised presser, walking through the Harris County courthouse with my skirt tucked up into my tights, accidentally knocking a giant TV light at President Bush in a Cabinet meeting, and of course all the daily indignities of White House coverage (many of them self-inflicted).

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? Tom DeLay was a great interview – charming and a total character.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? Laura Bush is a very tough interview, I am sure I enjoyed more contentious interviews less, but it was impossible to knock her off the script.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? Enron! Just kidding. It was John Edwards. No, I totally had that!